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Tyre Talk : Benefits of Premium Tyres highlighted in Autocar tests

Leading UK automotive publication, Autocar, recently conducted their first 'Tyre Tests' in over 12 months. In their prior test in November 2007, they compared the leading premium tyres against each other on a number criteria with the final results being:

Their most recent test conducted in February 2009 however pitted a well known premium tyre against a number of budget competitors, with the end results highlighting the indispensable safety benefits of the premium option.

Tyres are a distress purchase for many car owners, so when the time comes to replace them it's no surprise that many motorists shop on price. But Autocar's latest tyre test reveals that fitting budget tyres can seriously affect the way a car copes in wet weather. While all tyres imported into Australia are required to meet legal load and speed requirements, there are no statutory tyre tests for braking, handling or aquaplaning performance.

Autocar tested five leading budget brands against an established premium tyre. The magazine conducted its own tests for wet handling and braking, dry handling and braking and aquaplaning, plus a more stringent high-speed test.

Autocar senior tester Jamie Corstorphine said, "We expected the bargain tyres in this test to fall short of the premium tyre, but we were not prepared for just how poorly some performed."

The wet handling and braking test is vital for learning about the capabilities of a tyre. Braking from 80kph, the premium tyre stopped in the shortest distance on the VW Golf Autocar used for the tests. The worst performer was still doing over 44kph at the point where the car had stopped on the premium tyres.

"Having seen how the five cut-price tyres in this test perform, we're in no doubt that quality pays dividends," said Corstorphine.

Apr 2009